Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The God of Small Things

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Title: The God of Small Things
Author: Arundhati Roy
Pages: 322
Awards: Winner of the Booker Prize
Yearly Count b: 75

Set in India, where fate journeys amongst a family, and a set of twins. Roy using poetry-like prose takes the reader to a place of mystery and magic, superstition and pain. The storyline is not straightforward, but weaves and hops and jumps around complicating the impact of its plot. Good, okay...but nothing near great.

My take on this? I didn't like it. I wanted to, I like liking international fiction but this was too dark, to sad, too much to handle. Not even that much bad happened in the book, but nothing good ever did take place.

I can see that her writing is amazing, but Roy seems to go too far to show that she can write at the expense of plot and depth of character. It is not personable at all. I didn't connect to a single character. I think Roy should write poetry instead. I wish I had a better review to give. This is an award winning book, but I don't really see how.

Sorry guys!

Give me your thoughts, did you like it? When did you read it? Did you feel you connected with the characters and followed the plot? I had to do so much re-reading because either my mind would wander, or I would just not understand what was going on....not a book for me.



16 comments:

bermudaonion said...

Thanks for the honest review. I've never read this one, but I have read other award winners and wondered why they won.

Karen said...

I have read this one twice and have absolutely loved it both times - can't really explain why!!

Christine said...

I loved this book; I really go for the combination of beautiful + sad, though, so it was right up my alley. Though the incest took me by surprise.

heatherlo said...

I didn't like the book either, for basically the same reasons as you. I just didn't connect with it at all.

bethany said...

bermudaonion- yes me too!! What is up with that!!?! I guess we all have different tastes :)

karen- wow! that is supa-crazy to me. I so wanted to quit this over and over! Well, I guess you know why it was awarded the prize then!!

christine- I am glad you liked it. I know most people did...yes all the sexual stuff was a major turn off for me.

heatherlo-:) yay! I am happy to fine one person who didn't like it too!

Ramya said...

that is exactly my thoughts as well.. i wanted to like her book so much since the whole world loved it.. but i thought it was crude and lacked something.. i surprisingly don't feel that away about Rushdie books though he loves to play with the language as well.. I decided to re-read this book as the bonus book for Trish's classics challenge.. but i havent been able to get through it.. re-reading it is such a pain!
but i am going to stick with it and finish it.. man!

beastmomma said...

I really enjoyed this book; I thought her writing style added another dimension to the confusion and lack of clarity felt by the twins.

Bellezza said...

I remember I had to start this book SEVERAL times before I finally finished it (several years ago), but once I did, I really liked it. It was like a puzzle to put together, and I ended up feeling satisfied as each piece fell into place. Unfortunately, I don't remember enough of it to speak of it lucidly here, but I can commiserate with your feelings of irritation at certain points. The overall effect was one of satisfaction, though, to me.

literatehousewife said...

From what I've been able to gather, people really loved it or they really didn't like it at all. It's on my list of things to read after my ARCs. I'll be interested to see which category I fall into. Thank you so much for your honesty. It's okay that you don't like books that are award winning if you ask me - unless you were the one to give the award. Then, darn it! You'd better like it. :)

Fyrefly said...

I read this back in March (review here), and I also completely didn't get why it was an award winner, or why so many people seemed to love it - it didn't do anything for me.

Sandra said...

I loved this book, I'm a sucker for lyrical writing and thought the title was stunning. It's like food, different things appeal to different people. It's inevitable in what we read too. And it's always nice to see an honest review.

Corinne said...

I appreciate your review - I've heard from several people that I wouldn't like this one, so I've never tried it :)

Veens said...

I agree on many parts.

I am going to write a review too -i had a very crazy week at work and at home[ festivities ] it was DIwali :)

and now that i m free... i will surely post a review nxt week :)

hope u guys r having a gr8 time :)

PS - did i tell u - the city mentioned in the book 'Kottayam' - i belong to that place lol! :D i was so excited when i came to know about it ;)

Trish said...

I'm sorry this one didn't do it for you, Bethany! When i posted my review I had people comment with similar sentiments--about how they thought Roy had overdone the book. I loved it--in fact it's my favorite book out of the ones I've read this year. I did feel connected to the characters and by the end I cared deeply for them. This book was a very emotional read and it was heartbreaking--would read it again right now (if I had the time). But--we can't all like the same books...

jonah and becky lang said...

I didn't love this book- I read it quickly mostly to find out the full story of what really happened. I don't enjoy a book that has no value (to me) in adding to my perspective. Very disappointing after reading the Hiding Place and really getting something for my soul in that one.

Rose City Reader said...

Hmmmmm . . . loved it? Hated it? A little of both, I think. I found it off-putting and I wasn't sympathetic to the characters. But then I found myself getting into it and I ate it up. Now, looking back after a couple of years, I can't say as I remember much of it, except for the "Love in Tokyo" hair thing.

I can say that I liked it a LOT more than I liked Inheritance of Loss, which really left me cold.

By the way, we are in The Complete Booker together. So today is my day to check out the blogs of all my fellow participants. What an interesting and creative bunch of fellow readers! Keep up the good work!